Mystery Ink polled over 50 fiction writers, reviewers and other assorted
readers, asking them to name their five favorite books they read during the
year. A list of those, well, lists are up at their website. T. Jefferson Parker’s CALIFORNIA GIRL, Scott Phillips COTTONWOOD and Ken Bruen’s THE GUARDS show up a lot. Here’s my list of five.
Moment to Prey by Harry Whittington
Name of the Game Is Death by Dan J. Marlowe
Paradise by Elmore Leonard
Shuffle by Lono Waiwaiole
Curious Case of the Dog in Night-Time by Mark Haddon
My brother Tod’s LIVING DEAD GIRL also shows up in a couple of the lists…including this mention, from author Thomas Perry:
Dead Girl by Tod Goldberg — Probably the most skillful and unusual
piece of crime fiction by a young writer I’ve read in years.
If I were to expand my list to include, say, the top ten books I read this year, it would also include:
- Larry McMurtry’s four Berrybender novels (which I think of as one book spread out over four volumes).
- Frederick Manfred’s The Scarlet Plume.
- Paul Quarrington’s Fishing with My Old Guy
- Dan J. Marlowe’s One Endless Hour
- Lawrence Block’s Hitman novellas and short stories (which I also think of as one book. I thought the novel he wrote with the character, though, was rather weak).
That’s not to say I didn’t read a lot of other great novels this year, including many listed by others at Mystery Ink, but these are the ones that will stick with me for some time to come.